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GM names former government lawyer as adviser

February 17, 2010

GM names former government lawyer as adviser

Detroit News Washington Bureau

Washington — General Motors Co. has hired a former government lawyer to advise the company on its dealings with the government, which owns a majority stake in the company.

Lucy Clark Dougherty, a former Justice Department attorney, was named executive director for legal/government relations and global public policy.

"Lucy will provide legal advice, and assure we have robust compliance programs, in connection with GM’s lobbying activities, its dealings with government officials, the activities of GM’s political action committee and pending or contemplated legislation that could impact GM," said GM’s vice president and general counsel, Michael P. Millikin, in an email today obtained by The Detroit News.

GM received a $50 billion government bailout and the U.S. Treasury holds a 61 percent stake in the company. It has to, in effect, lobby the same people who own the automaker.

GM’s Political Action Committee has made no donations in over a year — a decision made after it received its first government loans. The company, which emerged from bankruptcy last July, cut its lobbying expenses by one-third last year.

In December, the company’s new CEO Edward Whitacre Jr. named two new lobbyists with ties to his former company, AT&T, to replace long-time GM lobbyist Ken Cole.

Dougherty is taking over responsibilities from Annette Guarisco, who is executive director for federal affairs and government compliance. She is assuming "a greater role in GM’s government relations and public policy activities," Millikin wrote.

Dougherty worked in the Justice Department’s environment and natural resources division, and then with Homeland Security, ultimately becoming the Homeland Security’s transition general counsel and its first chief legal officer. Since 2004, she has worked in the private sector.

The email asked employees to wish both "Lucy and Annette well in their new roles, and give them both your full cooperation going forward."

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